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Jimmie J. Adkison v. Commissioner of Social

September 21, 2012

JIMMIE J. ADKISON,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Craig M. Kellison United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, who is proceeding with retained counsel, brings this action for judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g). Pursuant to the written consent of all parties, this case is before the undersigned as the presiding judge for all purposes, including entry of final judgment. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 20) and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment (Doc. 21).

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff applied for social security benefits on August 5, 2006. Plaintiff's claim was initially denied. Following denial of reconsideration, plaintiff requested an administrative hearing, which was held on September 10, 2007, before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Jean Kingrey. In a October 26, 2007, decision, the ALJ concluded that plaintiff is not disabled based on the following relevant findings:

1. The claimant has the following severe combination of impairments: disc space narrowing with mild degenerative facet disease, bilaterally, at L3-S1, as shown on x-rays of the lumbar spine; and alcohol-induced liver disease and pancreatitis, both improved since the claimant stopped drinking in July 2006;

2. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals an impairment listed in the regulations;

3. The claimant's acute liver and pancreatic condition on compliance with treatment and sobriety resolved inside 12 months of the alleged disability onset date to allow him, in conjunction with a spinal impairment, to perform a residual functional capacity for all functions of light work, except for no performance of jobs with a high probability of major injury due to clotting problems; and

4. Considering the claimant's age, work experience, age, education, residual functional capacity, and vocational expert testimony, there are jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy that plaintiff can perform.

After the Appeals Council declined review on May 23, 2008, plaintiff sought judicial review in this court. On September 30, 2009, the court issued a decision reversing the agency's final decision and remanding the matter for further proceedings. The court instructed:

The court has found that a remand is required. The ALJ is directed to give proper weight to the opinions of plaintiff's treating physicians, after developing the record to the extent needed, and to credit plaintiff's subjective symptom testimony, the testimony of plaintiff's stepfather, and the written statement of plaintiff's mother.

A second hearing was held on October 1, 2010, before ALJ Michael Gilbert, after which the record was held open for 14 days to allow plaintiff to submit additional evidence, which he did not do. In a February 23, 2011, decision, the ALJ again concluded that plaintiff was not disabled based on the following relevant findings:

1. The claimant has the following severe impairments: lumbar lipomatosis, great toe bursitis, and end-stage liver disease with alcohol-induced pancreatitis;

2. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals an impairment listed in the regulations;

3. The claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform light work, except he s limited in all posturals to frequent, except climb ladders, ropes, ...


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